“It was really great,” said EMPF President Scott Santjer. “The largest banquet we’ve ever had.”
Follow us on Twitter at @AdTribNews
The East Medicine Pheasants Forever Chapter (EMPF) recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Some 350 hunting enthusiasts filled the Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort on Friday, March 29 to share in community as well as support the organization’s efforts to encourage public hunting opportunities and encourage pheasant habitat.
“It was really great,” said EMPF President Scott Santjer. “The largest banquet we’ve ever had,”
Since taking over as president in 2010, Santjer said that he has seen a revival of the event that has beenattributed to the change to a larger venue in the Prairie’s Edge banquet hall in addition to the move away from traditional banquet practices of featuring a guest speaker.
Santjer said he literally turned down an offer from the Minnesota Pheasants Forever president, and instead the 25th anniversary celebration set itself apart by offering up a notably high quantity and quality of raffle and auction items, featuring everything from guns to Pheasants Forever custom designed fire pits–– from a record 80 sponsors.
Used to support interest generating programming as well as habitat acquisition, fundraising is an essential aspect of the organization’s success.
At present, a main focus on the programming end is to make shooting sports more accessible to youth, and in particular girls, according Santjer. He noted that the organization recently donated $1,000 to help Lakeview High School develop a Minnesota State High School League – Trap Shooting team, and would like to help to get one started at Yellow Medicine East.
As for habitat restoration, Santjer said that the most recent project was the $282,000 purchase of 80 acres of land three miles east of St. Leo. Established in March of 2013 in the name of a recently deceased Clarkfield resident and Pheasants Forever enthusiast, “The Dennis Haaland Wild Life Management Area,” will be turned over to the DNR this year and made available for public hunting in years to come.